Android TV has slowly begun morphing into something that more closely resembles Google TV over the past few months. Google has previously stated that its intention is to phase out the Android TV interface over the next two years across all devices, so this is not unexpected. Just a few weeks ago, it gained the Discover tab and home screen recommendations and truly started to be more indistinguishable from its successor.
Now, it’s gaining several more Google TV features such as cross-platform watchlists, auto-playing movie trailers on the home screen’s feature section, and the ability to fine-tune recommendations with a Tinder-style card swiping mechanic. You can “improve your recommendations” with this last one by going to your device’s settings while the new Watchlist feature will appear right on the home screen.
I’ve already heard plenty of controversy as of late surrounding the auto-play content that Google has introduced into the platform. This very same technique of drawing in viewers with more immersive content and capturing their interest with live video snippets prior to them clicking to watch a movie or TV show has long since been employed by companies like Netflix. In fact, Netflix is the one who popularized this.
I personally love this and feel as though it brings my TV to life and gives that movie theater feel where we no longer have it thanks to the pandemic. For anyone with an Android TV device, you should begin to see these updates over the course of the next few weeks, and some have already started enjoying them. While auto-play videos aren’t welcomed by everyone with this update, I think the bigger offense is the content recommendations on the home screen that came with the last. Do you like what Android TV is turning into, or do you wish Google would leave things as they were?